Cut Yourself Some Slack

Blog · Your Body · Your Self

If you have ever tried to lose weight, which is the case for about 99% of women, you are very familiar with the pressure to be “perfect”.

You tell yourself…

“I am only going to eat vegetables for a week!” or…

“I am never going to eat sugar AGAIN!” or…

“I am going to work out for 90 minutes everyday this week.”

And 99% of the time, you mess up within the first 24 hours.

When you mess up, this overwhelming sense of failure pours over you.  And you give up… and probably go out for ice cream.

When we strive to have the “perfect diet” 100% of the time, and have even the slightest blip, we throw up our arms in defeat and start eating everything under the sun.  Our intention to be “perfect” actually causes us to eat worse than we would normally.

So how do we prevent this from happening?

First you have to give up on the idea that the only way to lose weight is to follow a certain set of rules or create a very black and white scenerio.

As soon as you tell yourself “you can’t have something (sugar, chocolate, ice cream, fried food etc.)” you are going to want to eat that forbidden food in huge quantities.  And when you give in to eating it, and at some point you will, you will say to yourself…

“Well f*** that!  I already had one chocolate cookie, which broke my chocolate and sugar rule, I might as well have 5 cookies, since after today I am definitely never having another cookie so I might as well get in as many as possible!”   Sound familiar?

Let me suggest an alternative:  strive to eat the best nutritional choices 80% of the time, and cut yourself some slack 20% of the time.

Here’s what happens when you live your life by the 80/20 rule…

A good chunk of the food you are eating will be filled with vegetables, whole grains, fruits and healthy fats, which will make you feel amazing!  You will start to feel in your body how much positive energy you get from eating healthy food.

Then when you have a cookie, it is only one small piece in the grand scheme of a healthy diet.

Now, instead of beating yourself up for eating the cookie and being overrun with guilt, eating the cookie is now a positive experience!

* The cookie can be thoroughly enjoyed since there is no guilt attached to it

* You won’t feel the need to eat 5 more cookies because the cookie is no longer “forbidden” and you are giving yourself permission to have another cookie tomorrow if you like

* You aren’t going through your day feeling deprived and stressed out by following strict food guidelines

If you are feeling panicked about “letting go” of your diet structure, start slow.  A lot of us have this belief that if we start eating something, we will never stop.  But that only happens because we make foods “bad”, “forbidden” and “guilty” which makes those things seems scarce, special and rare.  Of course we are going to want to horde something that is so special and scarce!

When you remove the labels and fully allow yourself to enjoy one of your “forbidden foods”, it loses it’s allure and you will be able to enjoy it with out wanting to binge, and without guilt.

I hope you will cut yourself a little slack today, and please check back into Bella Life and tell us about your experience!

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